My birthday is all about 7s this year. Lucky? I hope so.

Light fixture at the Liberation Café, Melville. (Photo: David Penney)

My birthday is actually today, Sunday 8 July. 8/7 or 7/8, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re reading this from. But I decided to celebrate on Saturday, 7/7, on Melville’s 7th Street.

I’ve never been big on celebrating my own birthday. In the past, it’s been my habit to sit passively by and wait for someone else (usually a husband or boyfriend) to plan something for me. Sometimes it’s worked out well, other times not.

But I’ve learned a lot since my last birthday. I’ve learned so much, in fact, that my head is spinning. One of the most life-altering things I’ve learned is that I’m responsible for my own happiness.

This year, of all years, I knew that I couldn’t afford to sit back and try to ignore my birthday.

So I resisted the urge to be passive, and reserved a big table at the Liberation Café, my favorite new Melville hangout. I invited some friends to come celebrate with me. Sounds simple, I know, but for me this was ground-breaking.

I think it worked out well.

The Liberation Café just opened about a month ago, on 7th Street between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue. It’s got a quirky style that I like. I keep finding myself in there.

Liberation Café serves tasty, African-fusion-style tapas. How cute are these mini ostrich burgers? There are also mini bunny chows and mini-boerewors rolls — all delicious.

Thank goodness I handed my camera over to my friend David for much of the night. He’s a much better party photographer than I am. (Photo: David Penney)

I don’t think there’s much else I need to say. We came, we celebrated, it was awesome. The photos speak for themselves.

Chocolate cream-cheese cupcakes from Anita and Johnson. The photo isn’t great and the cupcakes weren’t the prettiest. And yet, so yummy. All 18 of them were gone before I went to bed last night. I ate at least eight or ten of them myself.

The beautiful staff of the Liberation Café. I heart them. (Photo: David Penney)

Me and some of my girls. Me looking a tiny bit glazed. (Photo: David Penney)

I have no memory of this photo being taken. I have no idea who took it. I love everything about it though, especially the random interloper on the right. I think his name is Marvin.

I woke up early this morning, before the sun came up. My first feeling was nausea (too much wine and way too many cupcakes). My second feeling was a twinge of sadness.

I rolled over and realized the Melville Cat was there. He wasn’t home when I went to sleep, but had crept in sometime during the night. Of course, I thought. The Melville Cat wouldn’t leave me alone on my birthday.

I stumbled into the kitchen and found some gift bags on the counter. I had forgotten that people brought me presents last night. I carried them into the bedroom and opened them, while the Melville Cat looked on. I cried a little. Then we watched the sunrise.

Sometimes you have to create your own luck.

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